The conceptual models presented in this final chapter provide a basis for understanding why some goal-directed behaviours might be less successful than others, or why relationships with certain individuals might be more satisfactory than relationships with others. These models suggest a range of diagnostic questions and action strategies, which offer a basis for managing relationships more effectively.
Role theory focuses attention on the roles people play and the ways they perceive the roles played by others. Sometimes, it might be possible to improve a relationship if people signal more clearly the roles that they think are appropriate for themselves and others, and if they challenge what they believe to be inappropriate role expectations and behaviours. Transactional analysis may also offer an alternative perspective and suggests ways in which desired goals might be achieved more effectively. For example, a person’s lack of success in negotiations might be attributed to her tendency (when negotiating with people who originate transactions from their Parent ego state) to allow others to hook her into responding from her Compliant Child ego state. The way forward might be to modify this response pattern and for her to respond from her Adult ego state.

Deliberately crossing transactions in this way could have the effect of forcing the other negotiator to follow her lead and to engage in a parallel transaction by also originating transactions from his and targeting them at her Adult ego state. An awareness of her own and others’ needs can enable a person to assess what she needs to do to make her behaviour more effective. For example, if she is aware that she has a high need to exert control she might be alert to the possibility that her helping style might be too prescriptive. On the other hand, if she s aware that her clients differ in their need for control, she might be able to tailor her helping behaviour so that the help she offers produces the maximum benefit for each of them. 
Interpersonal competence involves the ability to understand the nature of social interactions, to be able to read behaviour, and to act in ways that will bring about desired outcomes. This book provides an introduction to some of the key diagnostic and action skills that can help a person to achieve this end.

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